One night, I dreamt I was in my hometown and it began to flood. Panicked, I led my family to higher ground, but it eventually flooded there too. The higher the waters rose, the closer we got to the sky. I realized at that moment that we could not be drowned if we just floated.
How many times have you tried to fight or run from trouble? Personally, I’ve tried all my life. Our brains are made to protect us in any and every situation, even if that means thinking of the worst possible outcome and devising an escape for a situation that hasn’t even happened or won’t ever happen. Those with anxiety, myself included, become slaves to what our brains suggest, and we begin to live in an adrenaline drenched life. My seeking to understand my anxiety has prompted these realizations that most things are never what they seem.
When troubles begin to flood in, we have three choices: fight the problem, run from it, or just succumb to it. The choice is all in your perception. You can assume you’ll drown or you can use a flood to help you rise. But whatever choice is made will impact the quality of your life. I’ve gotten to the point of spiritual maturity that now boldly begs God for rain because I realize that without it, I can’t reach the level I desire nor become the woman He has called me to be. Floods of hard times qualify us.
When we fight high water, we drown. When we run from high water, it chases us down. But when we allow it to just happen, it then becomes our ticket to enjoy life on a higher level. How? Because the more water there is, the further you are from where you started. Your troubles will not drown you. Your emotions will not suffocate you. Your anxious thoughts will not consume you. These are all but waves of high water coming to lift you up if this is what you choose to believe. As long as there is air in your lungs, you can float. The determining factor is how you view the troubles around you.
Every inconvenience that knocks at your door isn’t there to destroy you but to elevate you. That overdue bill, that dead-end job, the anxiety, and even those feelings of abandonment have specific purposes in your life. Becoming a master at enjoying life requires an optimism that doesn’t let you give up when troubles show up. There is a misconception about the lives of those who are presumably happy, healthy, or wealthy. We tend to think they have no troubles or live life on dry ground while the rest sink. The truth is, they have just mastered floating.
Each level of life requires a new life skill. Sometimes learning that new life skill comes with waves of disappointment and maybe even hardship. But we make it to the next level by allowing it to take us higher. Here’s three ways to use your troubles to elevate your life.
It’s okay to expect changes. It promotes the idea to look to God when things become unbearable and unpredictable. If you have goals or plans, expect that it’ll get hard at times, but once you learn to ride the wave, you’ll go higher.
Accept the fact that you cannot always be in control. You can run to higher ground for safety, but even high places have trouble. Fighting water can lead to drowning. You must learn to swim through.
Fighting is believing that whatever challenge you’re facing can be beaten with your own force. Running to higher ground means that you’ve decided that a situation is too large, too threatening, and too complex for you to survive. But allowing is when you realize that because you have no control, you are responsible for the lesson or the blessing that comes with it.